By Dominic Toner
Arsenal have been struck a major blow in their bid to sign N’Golo Kante as Chelsea have agreed a fee for the Leicester star.
The France midfielder is hot property off the back of a Premier League winning season with Leicester and a runner-up position at Euro 2016 with the hosts France.
French publication Le Parisian report that Chelsea have had a £29.2million bid accepted for the midfielder after making a decisive move in the race to sign a player also targeted by the Gunners, Real Madrid and Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.
Arsene Wenger has previously expressed his admiration of the Frenchman, but it appears new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is in pole position to secure his services.
Leicester captured Kante for £5.6million last summer and his impressive performances last season have seen his worth increase excessively.
He made 40 appearances in all competitions and grabbed one goal in a league match against Watford. His constant running and energy is well-suited to the Premier League and he also proved he is surprisingly strong for a small figure.
Wenger has money to spend in this window and has brought in Borussia Mochengladbach captain Granit Xhaka and Japanese wonderkid Takuma Asano already this window.
With Kante’s signature seeming unlikely they will still have a great range of midfielders to choose from, with Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshire, Mesut Ozil, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and now Xhaka in the squad.
In other Arsenal news, club legend Thierry Henry could join London rivals as a coach.